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What It Feels Like MAG
My mom tells me, “Go walk the dog.”
So I grab the leash from its hook by the door and a plastic bag from the cabinet, and yell through the house, “Addie! C’mon girl, time to go potty!”
Addie is only a couple months old. As she bounds toward me I smile at the way she teeters, still unsure of how to keep her legs under her. I crouch down to greet her, giving her head a quick pat before I clip the leash to her collar and we head out the door.
I walk down the block, Addie sprinting in front of me, eager to reach the park near our house. As we go, we pass the Brown’s and the Thomas’s and the Thompson’s. I think about the people in all those houses that I’ve never talked to, only knowing their names by word of mouth.
We reach the end of the street, stopping just across from the park, Addie bouncing in excitement. I take a deep breath, but it seems those two seconds were too long for the puppy at my feet. Addie lurches forward, yanking the leash from my grip, and galloping over the pavement.
I move to run after her, but a car is zooming past. By the time it has left my vision, so has Addie. I cross the street after her, calling,”Addie! Addie! Come here, girl!” but she does not appear.
I can feel the panic seeping from my blood to my bones as I realize that she is gone.
I run back to my house, narrowly avoiding another car as it whooshes past; its tail wind blows my hair into my eyes. I am sprinting down the sidewalk, desperate to reach home, to ask my mom what to do because she always has the answer. But when I reach my house, I find I am locked out. I bang on the window of the room where my parents are watching some old film, but they do not hear me – they do not see me.
I pull out my phone to discover that it is dead. I walk to the front door to ring the doorbell. I bang my fists, but no one answers. I sit down on the front steps, tears in my eyes, utterly unsure of what to do next.
I shiver in the cold and reach to pull my coat tighter, but my fingers touch only skin. I look down.
My coat is not there. Neither is my shirt. Or my pants. Or my shoes.
I am naked.
I am sitting in the cold, stark naked for the whole world to see, and yet no one seems the least bit bothered with my existence.
I pull my knees to my chest, curling into a ball, trying not to scream as the mailman walks up the front path, places our mail in its slot, and walks away.
The cold is eating at me now, taking over my blood and bones from the panic of earlier.
I am tired, and there is nothing left to do. So I lie down on the steps, my hands tucked under my head, and let myself drift away.
This is what depression feels like.
This is how I felt as my world crumbled over my first semester as a junior. Everything I knew was falling away and I was left naked in the cold. Depression took away everything – my relationships, my writing, my pride, my happiness. It was devastating, but I made it through … I’m making it through.
And each day that I am still breathing, I wake up to Addie curled next to me.